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Be Informed When Emergencies Arise


September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and Chief John F. Sullivan and the Brookline Office of Emergency Management (OEM) would like to remind residents of the importance of being informed when emergencies arise.

Throughout September, Brookline OEM is reminding residents of the importance of being ready, being safe and being informed in order to stay safe when emergencies arise.

Communication is critically important in any emergency. During National Preparedness Month, Brookline OEM wants residents and their families to be informed of ways to access help, and to share vital health information with first responders.

Silent Call Procedure

If you are unable to communicate your emergency for any reason, you can indicate your need for help by pressing digits on your telephone’s keypad.

Once you ha e dialed 911 and an operator has answered, you can press:

  • 1 if you need police;
  • 2 if you need fire services;
  • 3 if you need an ambulance;

If you are asked a question during the call, you can press:

  • 4 to respond yes;
  • 5 to respond no.

Text to 911

It is always better to call 911 but if you are unable, you can now text to 911. Make sure to include your name and your precise location as well as the type of emergency you are having. To learn more, please visit here.

File of Life

File of Life is an emergency preparedness document that promotes safety and peace of mind. It is the first thing that emergency responders look for when they enter a home. File of Life provides important information about an individual’s medical history, physician info, and medications all in one place, in case of emergency. In addition to the File of Life, residents should consider activating the Medical ID on their smartphone.

File of Life is available at the Brookline Senior Center, the Department of Public Health and Human Services, or the Office of Emergency Management. To learn more, please visit here.

Programs for Seniors

  • The Emergency Preparedness Buddies Program (EP Buddies) helps Brookline elders and adults with disabilities who live alone to prepare for and respond to emergency situations. To learn more, please visit here.
  • The Are You Ok? program is a daily telephone reassurance program offered by the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office. Each morning, enrolled seniors receive a call to check on their well-being. If an individual fails to respond or requires assistance, staff notifies their family, and if necessary, local police and/or emergency services. To learn more, please visit here.
  • The Yellow Dot program is a free program that provides first responders with quick access to critical medical information about the occupants of an automobile in the event of an accident or health emergency. To learn more, please visit here.


The Town of Brookline uses the AlertBrookline emergency notification system.

AlertBrookline lets users receive notifications about emergencies like fires, snowstorms, weather emergencies, public health notices, utility outages, traffic conditions, threats to people or the environment, and other incidents. It also notifies residents about parking bans and trash pickup delays. Users can customize their alert preferences.

To sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBrookline, please visit here. To enroll on a mobile device, text “alertbrookline” to 99411.

Mass 211

The Commonwealth’s 211 hotline is available 24/7 for non-emergency assistance. It is available with translation into more than 150 languages and can be accessed via video relay services.

211 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services resources available in their community. Always a confidential call, Mass 211 maintains the integrity of the 911 system saving that vital community resource for emergencies.

Brookline’s Emergency Management Team also encourages community members to visit the town’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest news.

To learn more about Brookline’s Be Ready, Be Safe, Be Informed campaign, please visit here.

Volunteer to Help in an Emergency Brookline’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) are seeking volunteers to assist Town staff during emergencies and also support community events throughout the year.

Residents looking to learn more are encouraged to participate in an information and sign-up session on Wednesday September 27, 2023, between the hours of 06:00 p.m. – 07:00 p.m., at the Public Safety Building, 350 Washington Street, Brookline, MA 02445.